Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peer programs

So who have been our peers that last 12 years? To compare I am going to look at Big 5 programs within +/- 10 in the Sagarin rankings each year.

2001 SU 13th
Peers: Texas, Tenn, Neb, Oregon, Oklahoma, Colorado, FSU, MD, LSU, Wash St, Stanford, Illinois, UCLA, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Georgia, K St, UNC

2002 SU 77th
Peers: Zona, Stanford, Utah, UNC, Mich St

2003 SU 61st
Peers: South Carolina, Colorado, Northwestern, ASU, Louisville, UCLA, Stanford, PSU

2004 SU 62nd
Peers: Iowa St, Wash St, South Carolina, Pitt, Northwestern, Kansas, Bama, Mizzou, K St, Penn St, Mich St, Wake, Neb

4 year avg (Coach P years) 53.25
Top Peers: Stanford (3), South Carolina (3)

Current SU 77th
Peers: Stanford 7th, South Carolina 12th

We are in worse shape than both of those peers. Not a surprise that the last 9 years we have fallen.

2005 SU 114th
Peers: Miss St. Only team worse was Duke.

2006 SU 66th
Peers: K St, Purdue, Vandy, Kansas, UVA, Miss, NC St

2007 SU 113th
Peers: Duke, Baylor, Minn. Only Baylor and Minnesota were worse.

2008 SU 104th
Peers: Michigan, Iowa St. Teams worse Iowa St, Indiana, Wash, Wash St.

4 year avg (GRob years) 99.25

Current SU 77th
Peers: Baylor 4th, Duke 50th, Iowa St 76th, Kansas 104th, K St 32nd, Michigan 35th, Minn 59th, Miss 26th, Miss St 53rd, NC St 87th, Purdue 134th, Vandy 45th, UVA 86th

We are in worse shape than eight of those peers, better than two, and on par with three. Not a surprise that the last 5 years we have been mediocre.

2009 SU 83rd
Peers: UVA, NC St, Purdue, Duke, Baylor, Michigan, Louisville, Colorado

2010 SU 48th
Peers: MD, Illinois, Miami, UNC, Texas Tech, BC, PSU, Louisville, Clemson, Georgia

2011 SU 86th
Peers: Wash St, Kentucky, Oregon St, Minn, BC, Kansas

2012 SU 38th
Peers: ASU, PSU, UCLA, USC, Mich St, Texas Tech, Mizzou, Miss St, UNC, Zona, GA Tech, WV

4 year avg (Marrone years) 63.75
Top Peers: BC (2), UNC (2), Louisville (2), Texas Tech (2)

Current SU 77th
Peers: BC 74th, UNC 56th, Louisville 13th, Texas Tech 25th

We are worse than three of those peers, on par with one. Not a surprise as this year has been a poor one.

12 year avg 72.08
Top Peers: UNC (4), Penn St (4), Colorado (3), Kansas (3), K St (3), Louisville (3), Michigan (3), Michigan St (3), South Carolina (3), Stanford (3), UCLA (3), Wash St (3)

Current SU 77th
Peers: UNC 56th, Penn St 48th, Colorado 93rd, Kansas 104th, K St 32nd, Louisville 13th, Michigan 35th, Mich St 19th, South Carolina 12th, Stanford 7th, UCLA 17th, Wash St 47th

We are worse then ten of those teams, and better than two.

It was obvious that we were on a downward trend under Coach P, and he deserved to get fired. GRob then accelerated that into a downward spiral. How he survived to coach a 4th season is a mystery. Marrone did a good job of stabilizing the program and getting it headed in the right direction. However, as you can see above there have been schools in a similar boat who have not only stabilized but have been on an accelerated upward trend. Because of that you cannot say that Marrone did a good job. Decent sure, but he shouldn't be praised as a savior.  There are teams currently in a lot better shape that started as peers to SU when Marrone took over.

As a further example look at 2007-2009. That is GRob's last two years and Marrone's first year stuck with GRob kids. The SU avg rank was 100. That avg is similar to:

Washington St 109 avg, Current 47th
Indiana 98.3 avg, Current 49th
Iowa St 90.7 avg, Current 76th
Baylor 87.7 avg, Current 4th
Minnesota 87.3 avg, Current 59th
Washington 82 avg, Current 18th
Duke 81.3 avg, Current 50th

Yes we had the 2nd worst Big 5 avg from 2007-2009, but we have not made even close to the jump that Baylor or Washington have. And we still are in a similar spot as Duke, Indiana, ISU, Minn, and WSU. Marrone should get credit for improving things. The program is in better shape than when he took over. We certainly could have stayed down. But he shouldn't be praised as the savior of the program. Compared to our peers did he do better than Briles, Cutcliffe, Wilson, Rhoads, Kill, Sarkisian, or Leach? Or did he do a decent job which is similar to what most coaches would do?

Friday, October 25, 2013

How SU should recruit

I looked back at data from the 2000-2012 NFL draft to see where players came from. Here is what I found at each position:

Quaterbacks (minimum 5 players)
California 26
Texas 15
Alabama 7
Pennsylvania 7
Louisiana 6
Ohio 6
Oregon 6

New York 0.0

This tells me SU should be recruiting QBs from either PA or OH from within our territory.

Running Backs (minimum 10 players)
California 25
Florida 24
Texas 24
Virginia 20
Ohio 13
Louisiana 11

New York 3

For RBs SU should be recruiting FL, VA, or OH within our area.

Wide Receivers (minimum 12 players)
California 51
Florida 50
Texas 37
Louisiana 22
Georgia 17
Ohio 14
Virginia 14

New York 4

For WRs SU should be recruiting FL, GA, OH, or VA.

Tightends (minimum 7 players)
California 13
Texas 12
Florida 7
Georgia 7
Ohio 7
Pennsylvania 7
Virginia 7

New York 2

For TEs it doesn't seem to matter as much as they are spread out in many places. Three other states have 6 players and another three states have 5 players. That makes 13 states with 5+ TEs.

Centers (minimum 3 players)
California 12
Texas 10
Ohio 8
Florida 5
Arizona 3
Hawaii 3
North Carolina 3

New York 2

For Cs it is another position that doesn't seem to matter much. Maybe OH and FL are the bests bet for SU.

Guards (minimum 7 players)
California 16
Texas 13
Florida 10
Ohio 8
Pennsylvania 8
Mississippi 7

New York 3

For Gs SU should recruit FL, OH, and PA.

Tackles (minimum 8 players)
California 28
Texas 25
Florida 13
Louisiana 10
Michigan 9
Georgia 8
Ohio 8

New York 7

For Ts it is pretty spread out as well. NY surprisingly is right up there. SU should recruit at home along with FL, GA, and OH. Another 8 states all East of the Mississippi have 5-7 Ts (not including NY).

Overall for the Offense the states that stand out within SU's recruiting territory are FL and OH. After that should come GA, PA, and VA. If you notice I mentioned a Midwestern state ONCE. Hopefully our staff wakes up and stops recruiting those areas.

Defensive Ends (minimum 11 players)
Texas 31
Florida 23
California 22
Georgia 17
Alabama 12
South Carolina 12

New York 4

For DEs SU should recruit FL, GA, and SC.

Defensive Tackles (minimum 10)
Florida 24
Texas 20
California 17
Georgia 12
South Carolina 10
Alabama 10

New York 2

For DTs SU should recruit FL, GA, and SC. Interesting that SC is good at producing NFL DEs and DTs.

Linebackers (minimum 12)
California 47
Florida 37
Texas 28
Georgia 20
Alabama 12
Ohio 12

New York 7

For LBs SU should recruit FL, GA, and OH. NY isn't too bad for LBs.

DBs (minimum 19 players)
Florida 74
California 67
Texas 59
Georgia 32
Louisiana 30
Ohio 27

New York 10

For DBs SU should recruit FL, GA, and OH.

Overall for the D the stand out states are FL and GA. SC is good for DL and OH for the back 7.


The top two states with California and Florida with 4 each. Three other states have 2 each. So there doesn't seem to be state that stands out. It is funny though that FL again comes out on top though. NY had zero.


Ohio and Texas lead with 4. California and Louisiana are the only other states with more than one punter, having two each. NY did have one punter.

Overall Players (Top 10 states)
California 330
Texas 280
Florida 275
Georgia 134
Ohio 122
Louisiana 106
Virginia 96
Alabama 83
South Carolina 73
Michigan 70
Pennsylvania 70

New York 45

SU has six of the Top 10 states within its recruiting area. Those states along with NY should be where SU is concentrating. SU plays in a conference that includes schools in FL, GA, VA, SC, and PA. Two conference mates are right near OH, SU isn't too far away either, and SU often plays OH MAC teams. Add in SU's home state of NY and nearby NJ, and that gives you where SU should recruit. That is it.

All this Midwest recruiting makes no sense. There is not a lot of talent there. SU does not play games in those areas. Sure Michigan has better talent than New York, but the difference between the two (25) is the same as the difference between Michigan and Virginia (26). SU has three commits this year from Illinois, which only had 60 players drafted in the 2000s.

I understand that Shafer was hired late and had limited options. So he went with guys he knew, and being a guy with a Midwestern background he ended up with Midwestern assistants. That is fine for this year. But next year that needs to change significantly. Shafer needs to have on staff a FL guy, a GA/SC guy, an OH/Western PA guy, an Eastern PA/NJ/NYC guy, a VA/NC/MD guy, and an Upstate NY/New England guy.

Those are the six territories SU should recruit. Shafer should split that between the QB, RB, WR, DL, LB, and DB coaches. If a current coach doesn't fit into one of those territories they need to be replaced. The primary skill of all those coaches should be recruiting. Leave the Xs and Os to the HC, OC, and DC. The position coaches need to funnel talent to those three who then need to close.  I left the OL coach out of the mix as I believe that is the only position coach where technique is more important than talent.

So if Shafer or any future coach wants to be successful, they should follow this plan.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Doing Herm Frazier's job

Going forward this is how SU should schedule:

One 1AA/FCS team

This should be Colgate every year. Out of all the 1AA schools out there this will get the most fan interest and even a few Colgate fans showing up in the Dome. By 2016 they will count toward Bowl eligibility (maybe even by 2015) as they now give out scholarships. Nova has been rumored for the 2014 schedule, if not I would add Albany if they are eligible. Same thing in 2015, if Colgate is not eligible yet take Albany or if need be Wagner. Also if possible we should schedule the Colgate game for the first weekend of October every year. Why? Because they are the perfect opponent for homecoming (which will also help attendance). In addition maybe Colgate would be open to having their homecoming the same weekend (again helping attendance). They are close enough and it would be a bigger event than a home game vs a 1AA team. So it would be a dual/duel homecoming game, the first of its kind. If SU plays Colgate every year starting in 2015 then SU will have only played Pitt more (by 3 games). For Colgate they have only played Cornell and Holy Cross more.

Two non Big 5 teams

With 8 difficult ACC games it is important that SU has three cupcakes to ensure a Bowl game. SU could have a pretty decent squad and still end up 3-5 in the ACC. Playing two Big 5 schools OOC leaves zero margin for error. SU isn't in the Big East anymore, where it had to schedule OOC to stay relevant. So who are the best schools to play? Simple, schools located in areas SU recruits. These would be the following:

Akron and Kent St- they help to recruit Cleveland area high schools. SU can do a 2 for 1 series so that families from this area can have easy travel in Ohio and to Pittsburgh every other year.

Ohio- they help to recruit Columbus area high schools. Families can make trips to Pittsburgh and Louisville every other year.

Miami OH- they help to recruit Cincinnati area high schools. Families can make trips to Louisville every other year.

FAU and FIU- they help to recruit Miami area high schools. These schools are important to play as SU does not play in the Miami area often enough. As of now it will be once in 12 seasons. Should the ACC go to 9 conference games it would still be once in 6 years.

Georgia State- they help recruit in Georgia, where just like in Miami we do not play often enough. Clemson is not far from Northern Georgia/Atlanta but having Georgia State will help.

Temple- they will help recruit Eastern PA and Southern NJ. Those are two traditional recruiting areas for SU where close games are not played for families to attend.

That is it. SU should only play those 8 schools. As a fan I would enjoy seeing Army, Buffalo, Navy, Tulane, UConn, UMass but those schools do nothing for the program. Also Cincy, UCF, USF are too difficult of games to add to the schedule even though they are in recruiting areas.

One Big 5 team

We know that SU has MD in 2014 and 2019. ND in 2014 and 2016, then at least once every three years. Supposedly SU has PSU in 2020 and 2021. We also know that the Metlife contract means SU will be playing there every other year from 2019-2038. That contract could be difficult to fill. Only a few schools will make it worth playing there. That number decreased with Rutgers moving to the B1G. Why would Ohio St or Michigan want to play at Metlife game when they already go to NJ every other year? Schools that might be open to doing a one game series at Metlife:

BYU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

Those are the only schools that I believe would be open to a one game series and fill the stadium. Other schools would either want a return trip (an unacceptable 1-0-1 series) or have no reason to ever play a game at Metlife. Even if you get all five of those schools you still need 5 more games to fill the contract. If ND agrees, SU can have the ACC/ND games all be at Metlife. ND would lose a home game but they also wouldn't have to go to the Carrier Dome. That would cover three to seven games depending on how the ACC allocates the ND games. Also SU can offer the same deal to Penn St. No game at Happy Valley in exchange for none in the Dome. The last desperate possibilities would be WV and Rutgers. I think both would be open to a 1-1-1 series.

So what about the years we do not play at Metlife? That too will be difficult. The B12, B1G, and P12 already have committed to 9 game conference schedules. The SEC is likely to follow. That will limit the pool of OOC games available. Most name schools will look to schedule other name schools or one game series in NFL stadiums. Getting a name school OOC to the Dome may be a thing of the past. SU can likely still get middle of the pack Big 5 schools but I prefer SU keep OOC games to traditional rivals. This would mean games against MD, Penn St, Rutgers, and WV. Personally I like variety and going to trips in Chicago, LA, Seattle, etc but playing those games are unnecessary trips that do nothing for the program. Which schools are likely to get bigger crowds to the Dome your local rivals or schools that are far away? Which schools are in SU's recruiting area, local rivals or schools from the Midwest, Southwest, and West? What is better for the players short trips or long ones? So I would like to see SU rotate those four schools as OOC games.

There are a lot of factors that could easily change the scheduling landscape. The ACC could go to 9 conference games (my guess not before 2020 because of future schedules). ND could join the ACC full time (my guess not before 2026 because of the NBC contract). A 13th game could be added to the schedule (should happen once the SEC goes to 9 conference games). The Big 5 could create their own division (doubtful). Or they could agree to not play 1AA teams (also doubtful). Maybe the Metlife contract never happens (possible if the two ND games have weak showings). Without knowing what will happen, we can only plan using the current environment. So here is my solution to the next 11 seasons (what the ACC has already scheduled out):

6 Home MD, Nova, Duke, FSU, Louisville, NC St
5 Away Akron, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
1 Neutral ND (Metlife)

7 Home Akron, FIU, Colgate, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
5 Away Vandy (not many choices), FSU, Louisville, NC St, UVA

6 Home Akron, Colgate, FSU, Louisville, NC St, Virginia Tech
5 Away FIU, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
1 Neutral ND (Metlife)

8 Home Colgate, FIU, Georgia St, Vandy (needs to be home as road slate difficult), BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
4 Away FSU, Louisville, Miami, NC St

7 Home Colgate, FAU, Georgia St, FSU, Louisville, UNC, NC St
5 Away ND (SU will play ND once or twice between 2017 and 2019, the game fits best for SU here), BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake

6 Home Colgate, FAU, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
6 Away Georgia St, MD, Duke, FSU, Louisville, NC St

6 Home Colgate, Miami OH, FSU, Georgia Tech, Louisville, NC St
5 Away FAU, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
1 Neutral PSU (Metlife moved game)

7 Home Colgate, Miami OH, Temple, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
4 Away FSU, Louisville, NC St, VT
1 Neutral PSU (Metlife moved game)

6 Home Colgate, FIU, FSU, Louisville, NC St, UVA
5 Away Miami OH, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
1 Neutral ND (Metlife)

6 Home Colgate, FIU, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake
6 Away MDTemple, FSU, Louisville, UNC, NC St

7 Home Colgate, MD, Temple, FSU, Louisville, Miami, NC St
5 Away FIU, BC, Clemson, Pitt, Wake

As you can see above, SU has some really difficult years ahead in the ACC. The most difficult is when SU has FSU, Louisville, and Miami/VT all at home or all on the road in one year. In 2016 it will be a great year just to make a Bowl. That is why SU needs to have 3 cupcakes on the schedule every year. The conference schedule is difficult enough.

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